The New York Islanders looked to be in decent position at the first intermission of their quarterly track meet with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Then things fell apart.
Chances traded, no defense, yada yada yada 5-2 for the Leafs after Toronto won the second period, 4-0.
Now the Isles have given back half of their 4-0 start to the season. Immediate reactions, via the Battle Level rubric, follow below.
[ Box | Game Sum | Event Sum | Fancy: Natural Stat Trick - HockeyStats.ca | Recaps: | Isles | NHL | ]
HAHD: My head, after this game. Cal Clutterbuck, for at least annoying the opponent as he is wont to do.
SMAHT: Ray Ferraro for returning to the Coliseum for the first time in 10 years. Better late than nevah. Nice to hear him talk about the Coli and Al Arbour during the first intermission on MSG. Also Ryan Strome, Frans Nielsen, Josh Bailey, Brock Nelson. Those guys were alright. Strome was active all night.
WARRIORS: Thomas Hickey, having lost his stick, tried to check his man along the boards and took a skate to the mouth. Ouch. Get well soon.
PASSENGERS: They know who they ah. But special mention to the first line for its "work" in its own zone, and Hickey for letting Kessel sneak behind him on the home run pass that let the Leafs make it 5-2. Laziness there let Toronto put the game away just 40 minutes in.
OVERALL BATTLE LEVEL: One Cappy out of five, barely.
TURNING POINT: Shortly after the Islanders took a 2-1 lead, Travis Hamonic hit the crossbar and then the Islanders powerplay failed. Could've been 4-1 for the Isles at the end of the first period. Instead...something else entirely.
AMUSEMENT OF THE NIGHT: Dion Phaneuf stepping up at the blueline to do one of his traditional, "I'm going to leave my position just to make a big hit, hopefully" only to have Frans Nielsen deke him out of his little boy pants to create a 2-on-1.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: "When you got to the rink, you knew it was Al's team." >>Ferraro on Arbour
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT, UNDERSTATEMENT DEPT.: "Hockey can be a very dangerous game at times. The skates are very, very sharp." >>Butch Goring, after Hickey sprinted off the ice holding his face.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT THAT IS EVEN MORE OF AN UNDERSTATEMENT THAN THAT: "I don't think Don Maloney necessarily read the chemistry of the team right after that 1993 playoff run." >>Howie Rosen